Monday 22 January 2018

Otto learns the Scale

Otto is learning the scale for working trials. When he has learnt the technique and built up the strength, he will hopefully be able to do this at its full six-foot height, but he is starting at a much lowered height to help him build muscle memory. The ground is extremely soggy at the moment, so he has an easy landing even if he makes a mistake.

Thursday 18 January 2018

Pencil Portraits

I have been asked by several people if I will consider doing my pencil portraits as commissions. This is something I've historically been reluctant to do, as drawing animals is something I tend to do for my own enjoyment in my spare time, and I don't want it to take up too much time or turn into arduous work involving illustrating subjects I have no interest in. So, I'm tentatively offering this on a 'trial' basis with certain conditions attached. I have added a page of some of my illustrations to the main site under 'about' to show the sorts of things I draw.

What I draw:
Portraits of traditional domestic animals -- livestock, horses, dogs including breeds and honest mongrels, lurchers, vague terrier-types. I see no problem with illustrating animals engaged in traditional work and sports, such as dogs retrieving game, horses with riders in hunting regalia, or guns (depicted being used in sensible and legal ways).
What I don't draw:
People, other than vaguely and in the context of riding horses etc. Commercial-strain livestock (battery-type chickens, anything to do with industrial farming), novelty 'designer' mix-breed dogs. Unsound, extreme, or exaggerated animals that are not representative of their breed, animals that are not proper colours for their breed. I will also not draw an image of an animal that shows its ears, tail, comb or any other appendages have been cut off for no medical reason. I don't generally draw landscapes or complicated backgrounds. If your animal has an ear tag, I will usually draw the animal's ear without the tag as it would appear naturally (I appreciate that DEFRA insists some animals have plastic things in their ears and there's not much we can do about it). I also don't draw wild animals or pets of 'non-domesticated' species -- I'm sure your snake is cool and have no problem with exotic pets whose welfare requirements can be met in captivity, but I'm just not interested in drawing it.
Media I work with
Pencils and watercolour pencils
How long it takes
I usually complete the basic portrait in a day or two, and then I will look at it and work on it a bit more for a week or so to make sure I'm happy it's the best I can do. If I'm too busy, I will postpone or turn down requests.

£100 for an image that will fit into a 8" square (size of the mount in the above image; frame is 10"). Portraits are drawn on A4 size paper and not trimmed so they can be framed in whatever way the owner prefers. £150 for A4-size pictures.
How to Order
Please contact me from the contact page or on facebook etc. I will need one decent-quality picture of the animal that you would like the portrait based on, but a few other favourite images of the animal are good as they help to build an impression of the character of the animal. I will only be taking on projects I have time for and may not be offering this service in summer when I'm busy.

Friday 12 January 2018

Gemmed Leather Collars

I have been making and testing some new collars featuring semprecious stones, crystals, and beads. The main delay in this project has been finding something robust enough to hold the beads on, and I've settled on jewellers' wire, after Indi tested a few different gauges. These collars are available as custom orders, and I've shown a few examples below. They are not the kinds of collars you should leave on your dogs full time (not that you should do this with any collar) as while the collar itself can stand up to rough treatment, constant scratching and shaking and rubbing against furniture will eventually lead to the decorations breaking off or the wiring snapping.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Deep blue and antique brown
metal gears, lapis lazuli, Czech glass beads, blue Swarovski crystals, pearlescent glass nautiluses

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright
Black and brown
Jingle bells, tigerseye, Czech glass beads

White Pearl, Black Ocean
(also Ice Crystal shown)
Black leather
Snowflake obsidian, black and white glass pearls, black Swarovski crystals, dark purple beads